This Pre-Wedding Session in New Zealand in Everything!

Nadia and Ray wanted to capture those special moments before they officially became husband and wife, so they called on Katie Grant and Janna Brown Design for a pre-wedding shoot they’ll always remember. With Nadia donning a couture gown and statement bouquet, they explored the majestic landscapes of New Zealand in incredible style and the resulting images – simply put – are everything.

Our bride and groom, Nadia and Ray opted for a pre-wedding adventure throughout New Zealand prior to their Bali wedding celebration. Donning a Zanzis Couture gown, Nadia sauntered along the shore at Lake Wanaka, with a beautiful landmark in the distance. Known as the “Lone Tree of Lake Wanaka,” it is said to be one of the most photographed trees in all New Zealand. To offset the haze and muted tones of the overcast day, Nadia carried a hand-tied bouquet of garden roses, blueberries, and fruiting plum branches.

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Photography: Katie Grant Photography | Floral Design: Janna Brown Design Co. | Wedding Gown: Zanzis Couture | Calligraphy: Michaela McBride Calligraphy | Bridal Shop: SPINA | Creative Direction + Styling: Janna Brown Design Co. | Film Lab: Atkins Pro Lab | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Silk Ribbon: Silk & Willow

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The Wildflowers of California Played Backdrop to This E-Session

There are engagement sessions, and then there are engagement sessions photographed by Sara Weir. And this beauty we’re about to dive into is the latter. She has a natural way with the camera and captured this California e-sesh in all its dreamy glory. Believe me when I say your Friday morning just got a whole lot prettier.

From Sara WeirEngagements are some of my very favorite sessions! It’s so easy to create something beautiful with two people so in love with each other. Add two beautiful locations, amazing light, and a romantic gown and it’s a dream! For the first location, I knew I had to take advantage of the beautiful wildflowers. The wildflowers in California are just out of the world this summer and I’m so glad we were able to really take advantage of them.

I’m so happy for these two and cannot wait for their upcoming wedding!

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Photography: Sara Weir Photography | Church: The Neighborhood Church | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab

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Rustic Elegance on a Ranch in San Luis Obispo, California

Rustic Ranch Wedding

When Grace + Mike stumbled upon Santa Margarita Ranch, they KNEW it was the place. After looking at over 30+ venues, the rustic elegance of this barn venue in San Luis Obispo + its dash of whimsy won them over.

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A Gorgeous Winter Wedding with the Prettiest Spring Garden Feel

It’s safe to say the sun is always shining in California, but infusing a February wedding with the look and feel of a stunning garden affair is still no easy feat. That is, unless you have a team of wedding superheroes on your side. This Calistoga celebration is a testament to the beautifully crafted design by Alison Events along with those pretty, pretty (did I mention pretty?) blooms by Charlotte & Daughters and all captured by Larissa Cleveland. You would swear it took place smack dab in the middle of Spring but nope. We’ve got a winter wedding California style on our hands and it’s a stunner.

Colors

Seasons

Winter

Settings

Tented

Styles

Al Fresco

From the Floral Designer … A wedding in February is always a time of crossroads for flowers. We have our winter favorites still going strong, but it is also a thrilling time for florists because we start to see the first nods of spring at the flower market. For U-Wen and Mike’s wedding we were able to bring in lots of bright seasonal flowers to create a warm, fun, relaxed, yet sophisticated feel to their celebration.

For her personal flowers, U-Wen wanted a more traditional style bouquet and some simple flowers for her hair. We used Romantic Antique and Juliet david austin roses in addition to poppies, Italian ranunculus, fritillaria, spray roses, hellebore, and freesia with a touch of greenery to create a soft pastel bouquet. Many of the boutonnieres featured local hellebore to add a darker contrast to the spring blooms.

Guests entered the home and were greeted with a grand arrangement featuring flowering branches, which connected with the large statement pieces in the cocktail area. The space had lots of big blank walls which were prefect for us to use tall flowering cherry blossom branches, paired with peach and pink flowers and lots of candles. The cocktail tables were adorned with exquisite hellebores in copper vases. We used some flowing ferns and greenery to connect with the ceremony pieces. Set in front of a stunning backdrop of the Napa hills, the outdoor ceremony needed little more than a simple addition of candles and two arrangements on either side of the couple.

The reception tables featured long ceramic boats filled with the bright flowers and flowering cherry blossom branches. Food was the central focus of the reception and we wanted to allow space for the full culinary experience, while adding interest, color and beauty to the tables.

 

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Photography: Larissa Cleveland Photography | event planning and design: Alison Events, LLC | florist: Charlotte & Daughters | cake: The Whole Cake | Catering: Seven Hills – Anthony Florian | hair and makeup: Imagi By Fiona | harpist: Diana Rowan | Transportation: California Wine Tours | Dinner Music: Peter Horvath | Linen: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Paper: Little Miss Press | Vocalist: Nicholas Bearde | child care: Joanna’s Nannies | dinner service: Meadowood Napa Valley | floor over pool: Jason Ranhin Contractors | tent and rentals: Hensley Event Resources | video: Collideskope Studios

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Urban Garden Wedding in San Francisco

Urban Garden Wedding

Calling all couples that L-O-V-E San Francisco! Jessie + Benjamin described their wedding as being “hyper-local” and they were proud to highlight so much of the talent in the city. Falling on their five year anniversary, the two wanted to say I do with a small ceremony, while still having the party of a lifetime. To do this, Buzzworthy Events SF planned their ceremony for a Friday night, with the rockin’ reception the following evening.

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5 Relaxed Bachelorette Weekend Trip Destinations

Bachelorette parties often have a reputation for being wild and crazy weekends full of late nights out, fancy dresses, and locales like Vegas and Miami. But that type of party isn’t for everyone. Luckily, there are tons of locations that tailor to every kind of bride, including those who just want a few days of relaxation. From nature-focused weekends to days spent at the spa, you’ll be in bachelorette bliss no matter your tastes.

THE HAMPTONS
If the wine country is your dream destination, but you’re on the East Coast, head to the Hamptons. Here, local vineyards have live music and host private wine tastings, blending nicely with your weekend full of hassle-free elegance and fun. Head to East Hampton for upscale shopping (and possible celeb sightings) or Montauk for local stores selling beach-wares. Afterward, saunter over to a local bar for a night out, or stay in and enjoy views of the ocean (or possibly a pool) and the beautiful weather while cooking a homemade meal.

AUSTIN
Calling all nature lovers: Austin is for you. The newly trendy destination is full of outdoor-friendly (and wallet-friendly) activities for you and your girls. Head here in warmer months to take advantage of things like Barton Springs, a natural pool where you can spend the day frolicking in the water and sunbathing, and Town Lake, a spot offering paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking. At night, see a show at a variety of venues that play live music every night of the week or gain confidence by spending the evening belting out your favorite tunes at karaoke.

NAPA

Does a weekend sipping wine in the country’s most beautiful vineyards sound ideal for you? Then consider Napa for your bachelorette trip. Daytime can be spent exploring the wineries on planned wine tours—one company even takes you around in an old vintage car!—and enjoying the beautiful weather of Napa Valley. Once the wine is tapped, head to lunch and then spend the rest of the afternoon at a day spa or shopping at local boutiques. Nights are full of swanky cocktail lounges, bars with low-key live music, and of course, tons of wine.

NAPLES

Miami isn’t the only Florida destination brides and bridesmaids flock to for bachelorette celebrations. For a sleepy, yet still tropical and upbeat vibe, head to Naples. Days are filled with beach time, either relaxing on the sand or having fun on the water via jet skis, kayaks and more. Book a cooking class at Sur la Table for a different take on dinner or opt for an early meal in downtown Naples, giving you time to walk around the area and explore the quaint shops nearby once you finish (don’t worry, the sun shines well into the evening). A few hours in, and you’ll quickly realize why Naples is consistently voted as one of the best places to live in the U.S.

CHARLESTON

Pink houses, great shopping, foodie-centric restaurants: all reasons Charleston is a top pick for a weekend away with your best friends. Pick a few restaurants to visit before you get there and make a reservation (they fill up quickly!), then let the rest of the weekend be full of relaxing. Walk around the downtown area, where local boutiques and favorite chains mix together, alongside little coffee shops and outdoor markets. If you’re into history, take a boat ride to Fort Sumter, or stick to land and sip cocktails on the rooftop at the Pavillion Bar or Stars Restaurant. At night, head to Cure Nightclub for DJ’s and dancing or Craft Conundrum for an evening of brews and food trucks.

No matter which locale you choose, you and your girls will leave feeling relaxed, fulfilled, and even more eager for the most exciting event of all: your wedding.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Jessica Tzikas is a freelance writer, editor, and content manager from South Florida, who recently moved back to the sunshine state after living in Philadelphia for the past few years. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading by the beach, practicing yoga, and exploring nearby towns.

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